DoD extends deadline for submission of responses to its RFP to modernize EHR system; CMS issues guidance on MU for 2015;

News From Around the Web

> The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has released guidance for hospitals regarding how to meet Meaningful Use for the new fiscal year, which began Oct. 1. The guidance reiterates that hospitals must use 2014 edition certified EHR technology and report on all 365 days of the year. There is some flexibility in reporting for the public health objectives. Guidance (.pdf)

> The U.S. Department of Defense has extended the deadline for submission of requests for proposals for its upgrade of its EHRs, known as the Department of Defense Health Care Management System Modernization. The new deadline is Oct. 23; the original deadline was Oct. 9. Solicitation

> The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT has released two new training videos on electronic clinical quality measure (eCQM) quality assurance. One involves the quality assurance review process training in JIRA. The other covers the responsibilities of new coordinators for the eCQM process. Videos

Health Finance News

> Hospitals actually profit from a drug-discount program developed for low-income and uninsured patients because the program expanded to serve a richer, better-insured patient base, according to a study published in Health Affairs. More than 20 years ago, a section of the Veterans Health Care Act created the 340B program, which gives hospitals with a disproportionate share of low-income patients discounts on drugs. Currently, about one in three hospitals qualify for 340B; the number of participating hospitals doubled between 2001 and 2011, according to the study. Article

> Hospital employment, which has been flat as of late, is continuing to experience modest increases, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employment at U.S. hospitals increased 0.13 percent during the month of September--6,200 more jobs than August and 23,500 more jobs than in September 2013. Article  

Health Insurance News

> Walmart Stores, Inc., the nation's largest private employer, announced yesterday that it will stop offering health insurance coverage in January to about 30,000 part-time employees who work fewer than 30 hours a week. The recent decision made by Walmart may prompt other companies to follow suit. Employer-sponsored health insurance coverage has been declining steadily since 2008. Article  

> opened Tuesday for insurers to test out--privately. On Monday, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services emailed insurers regarding the testing process, and noted the process requires confidentiality. Last year, insurers weren't required to keep their opinions and findings to themselves. Yet the upcoming open enrollment period is another story, considering the significant glitches the website endured last open enrollment period. Article

And Finally... Why didn't he just offer to return the items he stole? Article